The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom

Private First Class

United States Marine Corps
John Kelly



Private First Class John D. Kelly
United States Marine Corps

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Radio Operator of Company C, First Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 28 May 1952. With his platoon pinned down by a numerically superior enemy force employing intense mortar, artillery, small-arms and grenade fire, Private First Class Kelly requested permission to leave his radio in the
care of another man and to participate in an assault on enemy key positions. Fearlessly charging forward in the face of a murderous hail of machine-gun fire and hand grenades, he initiated a daring attack against a hostile strongpoint and personally neutralized the position, killing two of the enemy. Unyielding in the face of heavy odds, he continued forward and singlehandedly assaulted a machine-gun bunker. Although painfully wounded , he bravely charged the bunker and destroyed
it, killing three of the enemy. Courageously continuing his one-man assault, he again stormed forward in a valiant attempt to wipe out a third bunker and boldly delivered point-blank fire into the aperture of the hostile emplacement. Mortally wounded by enemy fire while carrying out his heroic action, Private First Class Kelly, by his great personal valor and aggressive fighting spirit, inspired his comrades to sweep on, overrun and secure the objective. His extraordinary heroism in the face of almost certain death reflects the highest credit upon himself and enhances the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

President of the United States

Private First Class John D. Kelly, who gave up college to enlist in the Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict, was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic action on 28 May 1952 against the Communist aggressor forces in Korea during which he fell mortally wounded.

John Doren Kelly was born 8 July 1928 in Youngstown, Ohio. Soon afterwards his family moved to Homestead, Pennsylvania, where he attended grade school and high school. He graduated from high school in 1947, and was attending Arizona State College, prior to entering the Marine Corps.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1951, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Following his initial training at Parris Island, South Carolina, he was transferred to Camp Pendleton for further training prior to joining the 1st Marine Division in Korea.

Private First Class Kelly served as a radio operator with Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, before meeting his untimely death.

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